The Oneworld airline alliance has beaten rivals Star Alliance to enable e-ticketing across all member airlines.
The announcement by Oneworld means passengers travelling on any of the alliance's eight member airlines will have one electronic ticket covering an entire trip, regardless of how many transfers made between airlines.
Aer Lingus and LAN were the last two airlines to implement e-ticketing this month, nearly three years after the first Oneworld airline pair enabled interline e-ticketing in May 2002.
Star Alliance will have completed interline e-ticketing across its members by August, with the exception of TAP Air Portugal, which recently joined Star and will be integrated by the end of the year according to Star Alliance director media relations, Markus Ruediger.
Now any combination of the eight airlines - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific,Qantas,Iberia, Finnair, Aer Lingus and LAN - can be covered by an e-ticket. The only exception is where bookings are made to one of a small number of airports that cannot handle e-tickets – in these cases a paper ticket would be issued.
The Oneworld network encompasses 600 destinations in 135 countries.
The advantages to having an e-ticket rather than a paper ticket is that there is no possibility of a ticket being lost or stolen, plus passengers can use self-service check-in machines where available. According to Oneworld e-tickets also make check-in quicker and smoother by removing the administration associated with paper tickets, but the main advantage is to airlines in terms of cost savings.
Oneworld estimates that interline e-ticketing will save the eight airline members a total $65 million a year.